Best Things to Do in Phoenix & Glendale: Wanderu Travel Guide

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Phoenix is one of the fastest growing city in the United States when it comes to entertainment. Known for its year-long warm temperatures and dry, sunny days, the capital of Arizona is a modern hub with tons of new restaurants, bars and shopping districts.

Phoenix is also very close to many natural attractions in the Valley of the Sun, which makes it a suitable stop for travelers exploring the outdoors. In case you are wondering what the best things to do in Phoenix are, we have put together a complete guide packed with the best tips and activities just for you. Enjoy!

Things to Do in Phoenix & Glendale

Check out the Entertainment District

One place that’s a must-visit when in Arizona is the Westgate Entertainment District. The district is an interactive shopping, dining and entertainment area with a vibrant outdoor setting.

When you visit the Entertainment District, you’ll have plenty of options for things to do. Right inside the district is the AMC Theater with state-of-the-art stadium-style seating. If you’re not really a moviegoer, visit the WaterDance Plaza, an open-air promenade featuring a $6-million Bellagio-inspired dancing water attraction. This water show is a common location for outdoor live entertainment and it doubles as an Instagram-worthy photo spot.

For those of you that are interested in a good meal, the Westgate Entertainment District has a large selection of dining options. From sports bars like Buffalo Wild Wings to sandwich shops like Which Wich, the 25 restaurants cover everything from casual to upscale dining.

Sample great food

The Yard House, located around the corner in Glendale, just outside of Phoenix, has reasonable prices and an abundance of options. Whether you’re just looking for a quick snack like some queso dip or some firecracker chicken wings, Yard House has a little bit of everything.

And if you are looking to save the big bucks on food and drinks, stop by for happy hour between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. or for the Yard House’s late night happy hour from 10 p.m. to closing time!

Another popular dining option is The Saddle Ranch, which is located in the Westgate Entertainment District. The Saddle Ranch prides itself on its “down-home hospitality” and great home-style meals. With a rustic over-sized bar, a mechanical bull, and outdoor stone fire pits, the Ranch is the perfect place to celebrate being on vacation.

Channel your inner shopper

At Tanger Outlets Westgate, you can fulfill all of your shopaholic needs. The outlet has a variety of stores to choose from but what you might find most appealing will be in Finish Line, Famous Footwear, Nike, or even Under Armour.

This shopping center has everything you could ever imagine. If you forgot something for your trip or if you are looking for a new outfit to rock at the club later, you’ll surely be able to find something at the Tanger Outlets.

Explore the outdoors

If you’re coming to Arizona for the first time, a super-recommended activity is to go on a scenic day tour. Even if you are not all about the outdoors, you could really enjoy getting to explore one of the most impressive desert landscapes in the country.

There’s a variety of tour options and all of them showcase some of the most unique sites that Arizona has to offer. Some popular tour options include:

  • A Day In The Old West, which is an adventure taken on a horse down an old trail through the canyons.
  • Sedona Red Rocks & Wine tour, which combines the views of Sedona and wine.
  • Desert Hike & Canyon Lake Tour, which allows you to experience the Sonoran Desert to the fullest by foot.

For those who would rather explore Arizona in a more exhilarating manner, you could embark on a hummer tour in Phoenix and explore Arizona’s rugged terrain by vehicle. These tours can be a more expensive that the ones described above, but the off-road touring experience is unlike any other.

If you are interested in taking part in one of these tours, you will most likely need an entire day dedicated to this sole activity as the tours can be lengthy. But we can assure you, they’re well worth the time!

Dance the night away

Phoenix has a great variety of bars, clubs and nightlife entertainment centers, in case you are looking to own the dance floor or celebrate until late. Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour is one of the most popular lounges in the city, and it’s open until 2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Their interesting menu of innovative, tastebud-stimulating drinks are handcrafted by expert bartenders, and make for a delightful drinking experience.

McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon is another evening option located in the Westgate Entertainment District in Arizona. This large saloon offers a pub menu and a seasonal patio with a full bar and a DJ.

The bar has multiple sound zones, 17 different draft beers, a 10,000-square-foot venue, and several screens, perfect for the sports lovers. Since the saloon is busy until it closes at 2 a.m. on most days, you should take advantage of their free table reservations.

Where to stay in Phoenix

Staybridge Suites Phoenix/Glendale is a great accommodation option in the Phoenix area, averaging around $171 per room per night. This three-star hotel has an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi and a buffet breakfast included each morning.

For an even lower cost, you can stay at the Homewood Suites Phoenix Avondale, which has rooms for $89/night. The Homewood Suites offer free Wi-Fi, parking and buffet breakfast. There’s also a free area shuttle and a free grocery shopping service if you’d prefer to cook in the hotel instead of eating out.

Click here to find the best deals on hotels and hostels in the Phoenix/Glendale area.

Are you excited to travel to Phoenix? Book your ticket using Wanderu.com or by downloading the Wanderu app, and enjoy your getaway to Arizona!


About Lindsay Tavarozzi: Lindsay is an aspiring travel journalist who loves caramel iced lattes, passport stamps and her Nikon D5200. She spends her free time writing posts for her blog and binge-watching Gossip Girl. Lindsay has a Bachelors in Communication from Lasell College.

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About the author
Karina Barriga Albring

Karina Barriga Albring

I'm a writer, journalist, soccer lover and hot sauce enthusiast born and bred in the mighty Andes. Wanderlust hit me hard at a young age and since then, it keeps me up at night. NYC and Modena, Italy changed my life, but my favorite destination is still Rio de Janeiro – and not only for the 'futebol'!
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